By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Not less than five persons died in a space of three days as over 50 emergencies rocked Lagos and Ogun States and overstretched the capabilities of emergency responders drawn from both the state and federal governments.
Beginning from a luxurious bus crashing into the Owode River in Ikorodu, to a car skidding into the Lagoon, to different fire disasters and car explosions, the weekend was certainly one to remember.
Confirming the incidents to THISDAY, the South-west National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesperson, Ibrahim Farinloye, said emergency responders worked hard to attend to each incident.
He said: “Emergency agencies in Ogun and Lagos States have attended to about 50 different disasters between Friday and yesterday’s fire outbreak at the Rida National Plastic Company, Oshodi, Lagos.
“There was a car explosion in Abeokuta, a wild bush fire at Ipokia, Ogun State and different fire outbreaks across the states. Five deaths have been recorded so far in all the incidents.
“Nigerians, especially private sector company owners and tanker drivers are seriously being implored to take safety seriously and guide against unsafe practices as the new phase of dry season is coming up.
“Parents and schools should educate children and the elderly to know basic unsafe actions, in a bid to raise awareness for prevention.”
Some of the incidents across the states includes the bus mishap that happened on Friday where three persons died and 23 others were injured after a GUO bus plunged into the Majidun River at Owode Elede area of Ikorodu, Lagos.
The bus with registration number Anambra GDD 386 YE was said to have been en route Maza Maza, Lagos from Aba, Abia State, when it skidded off its track while on top speed and plunged into the Canal at Owode Elede, before Mile 12, Ikorodu Road.
The bus with 59 passengers on board had 23 people injured and were treated on the spot by a joint team of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS) paramedics.
On Saturday night at about 7.47p.m., a car with three passengers plunged into Mekwe River, near Bonny Camp, Victoria Island, where the river is the most turbulent spot in the whole of West Africa.
While the man survived, his wife and child were however not so lucky as they were brought out dead from the Ultima Kia saloon car with registration number MUS 38 BL.
Confirming the incident, The General Manager LASEMA, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said the agency received the distress call and responded accordingly.
He said: “Preliminary investigation conducted by the agency’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) revealed that the car plunged into the lagoon, with the driver identified as Felix Aniele swimming out to the river bank.
“However, the other occupant a female identified as Chinagorom Adibe Fustine, was trapped and drowned with the car in the Lagoon.
“Emergency responders assisted by the local divers were able to recover the car from the Lagoon and consequently the dead body from the recovered car.
“The car has since been towed to Bar Beach Police Station, while the dead body has been deposited at the Mainland Hospital Mortuary.”
On the different fire incidents across the state, the Lagos State Fire Service Director, Rasaq Fadipe, said his team was on ground to battle the flames.
He said: “The 19th emergency call of the last 24hrs was from a tanker fully loaded with PMS, which lost control while on motion and fell by Totowu Riverside at Isuti Road, Egan, Igando.
“The tanker fell on a bus and one person died while others were rescued. The fire service were deployed to prevent the flames from spreading.”
“The tanker spilt its fuel into the stream and thus, there was need to inform those that live in Igando, Iba town, Agbara and Igbesa etc to avoid naked flames for now.
“Another fire outbreak was recorded at Ogbogbo Sawmill and another one at the CSS Bookshop house, opposite CMS church.
“We also recorded another outbreak of fire at Samchase Nigeria Limited, at plot 25, Isolo Industrial Estate and another fire incident at Gbagada General Hospital.
“Another fire outbreak occurred at 17 Rauf Williams Street, Surulere and yet another one opposite Diamond Bank by old NEPA bridge where shops were gutted by fire.”
And just yesterday, another fire was recorded Rida Plastic Company, along the Oshodi Expressway, near LASTMA office.
LASEMA GM, who also confirmed the incident said the fire was very severe and fire fighters from various units and organisations were drawn to battle the flames.
He said: “Fire outbreak at Rida Plastic industry, Oshodi Apapa expressway, Barack bus stop, was battled by fire fighters from the Lagos State Fire Service and LASEMA Response Unit Fire Fighters. “We also had fire fighters from Julius Berger Fire Service, Chivita, NEMA, LASTMA and military personnel from Ikeja Cantonment were also on ground.
“For now, the fire has been contained from spreading to the military cantonment and other factories around the area but damping is still ongoing.”